South Korea held a live firing exercise earlier this month. What shocked me is that they are still using vietnam war era weapons such as F-4 fighter-bombers & Cobra helicopter gunships.
We all know how serious a threat the north korean hermit kingdom is with its provocative shelling & its massive artillery force within striking distance of Seoul.
Yet despite facing a serious threat, South Korea still spend prudently with their defense budget. In the early days of S'pore, we had a prudent defense budget as well. Our AMX-SM13 light tanks were upgraded a few times. Ditto for A-4 Skyhawks instead of buying latest expensive weaponry.
South Korea sent substantial troops to assist the US during the vietnam war. However their subsequent South Korean governments psyche were not affected by greed due to their political structure. In S'pore however, the hybrid regime mutate into the present greedy one.
As greed comes into play, defense spending shoots up. Much of taxpayers $$ are channeled into the government linked defense companies. Hence taxpayers $$ flow into the private shareholders of which the sovereign wealth fund(SWF) benefit the most. There's nothing wrong with keeping the money inside S'pore. Problem is that the SWF lost substantial sums in overseas investments.
How ridiculous is our defense spending?
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, we spend 3x more than South Korea per capita. And we are not even facing a hostile North Korea.
Tax Increases? Just Reduce Defense Spending & Reallocate
There have been rumors about GST 10% should the hybrid regime win the upcoming elections. People question the alternative parties about how to fund citizen-centric policies without increasing taxes.
The answer is simple. If South Korea still have vietnam war era weapons in its arsenal, there's certainly no need for the latest weaponry for this tiny island. With reduction in defense spending, the $$$ can be diverted to spend in discounted travel for our soldiers on public transport, educational grants for financially struggling students etc...
With a 3x difference in spending compared to South Korea, there is certainly room to improve citizen's well-being through reallocation. The key is to have a different political party at the helm. Forget about the hybrid regime changing for the better due to its heavily entrenched self-interest over decades of rule unless it suffer a major defeat the polls.
New ruling party, new mindset, new priorities.
Lastly, enjoy watching South Korea's 10min youtube clip August 2015 Living Firing Exercise.